Nicholas Cage's career has taken an interesting turn. He's still Crazy Nick, through and through. He seems to like to take on projects that bare one word titles. "Knowing," "Stolen," "Joe" all of these examples, as well as others, indicate the interesting pattern Cage is making for himself. It is also interesting to note that out of those movies listed, as well as the movie you are about to read a review for, only one has any sort of merit.
In the film "Rage," Cage plays Paul McGuire, a successful business and family man, who happens to have a rough past. One night, while at a business party with his wife (Rachel Nichols), a police detective (Danny Glover) arrives and addresses McGuire, telling him that his daughter has been kidnapped. After a few days of investigation, it has been discovered that McGuire's daughter has been murdered. Tortured by the events, McGuire summons some old partners to find out who killed his daughter and carry out his revenge.
This is a nice set-up for a revenge movie. I like revenge movies and I have already written a lot about them on this blog already. They may not carry lots of substance, but they can be very fun to watch if done right. Sure, Crazy Nick comes out quite a bit in this movie, but once the revenge begins taking center stage, there are many good moments in "Rage." However, I can't look over the films ending. It is an ending and a resolution so slothfully bad that I can't believe it is in a movie. It is one of those endings you pray you misunderstood, an ending that doesn't live up to the rest of the film. It feels like the first two halves of the film were written by screenwriting adults and the ending was written by a 12-year-old boy on Pop-Rocks. When your movie is already set in familiar ground, and your lead character is playing up all of his typecast charms, you need something that separates the movie from the herd. "Rage" does that, but with an ending so unfathomable that it hurt my head.
Like I said, Nic is fine as McGuire. Rachel Nichols does fine with the limited screen time she has in them movie (although I could not find it believable at all that somebody who looks like Nichols would end up marrying someone who looks like Cage.) Danny Glover does good work as the police detective, but he's playing your typical clichéd, I'll-help-the-vigilante cop we see in these movies. I'd give the names for these two characters, but they are so drowned in "type" that I find naming them pointless. Peter Stormare shows up as an old boss to McGuire and does fine work. Audrey Peeples plays the daughter and does okay. Everyone in this movie is pretty much "okay" and "fine." I don't expect to see award-worthy acting in my revenge thrillers, I just want to be thrilled. That ending though, completely shameless.
I am sure all the big-wigs in this motion picture will recover just fine. I just wish the result was a little bit better for my tastes. The revenge flick is a dime-a-dozen in Hollywood, so it takes something truly special to fully win me over these days. You can't just hire a tough-as-nails actor and throw him in a dilemma like this without adding some substance. Once that substance is added, it needs to compel its audience, something I feel "Rage" did not do.
FINAL GRADE: D